The Dallas Mavericks was expecting to sign one of several point guards. However, much to the dismay of Maverick fans everywhere, the Mavericks came away with just Delon Wright.
At this point in the offseason, teams typically aren’t looking to add to their roster, but should Dallas Mavericks consider signing Jeremy Lin?
Jeremy Lin’s rise to fame is a story for the ages. In his senior year of high school, Lin led his Palo Alto high school basketball team to a 32-1 record en route to a state championship where they upset athletic powerhouse Mater Dei High School. Even after earning California Division II player of the year honors, Harvard and Brown were the only two schools that would guarantee a spot for Lin.
At Harvard, Lin played for 4 years earning All-Ivy honors and setting numerous Ivy League and Harvard records. By the time he finished playing for the Crimson, he was the only player in the Ivy League to have 1,400 points; 450 rebounds; 400 assists; and 200 steals.
Before Lin had the chance to play for the Knicks, he played for the Mavericks summer league team. This opportunity led to him signing a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Lin couldn’t find a home with a team. Even the Knicks cut him once before his scoring streak. In fact, the Knicks were hoping to cut Lin before his contract became guaranteed. For once, the Knicks had some luck. This luck led to one of the craziest stretches of individual performances to grace the planet earth.
I would describe the whole Linsanity stretch, but Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation did a pretty good job. In a crazy nine game stretch, an Asian American point guard who was overlooked his entire basketball career had one of the most memorable stretches in NBA history.
While that stretch opened up Jeremy Lin to the NBA world, he hasn’t been able to find a home like many thought he could. After the Knicks, he’s been with the Rockets, Lakers, Hornets, Nets, Hawks, and Raptors.
I suppose winning the NBA championship with the Raptors might make moving around everywhere a bit more bearable in the end, right? In an emotional video from his tour in Asia, Lin feels as if he’s hit “rock bottom”. He believes the “NBA has given up on [him]”.
Regardless of your reaction to Lin’s comments, there’s no denying a player of Lin’s caliber should have a job in the NBA. Lin is still in his athletic prime at the age of 30. His game fits well enough into the current NBA. He’s a high character guy who is well-loved by his teammates as evident by this Trae Young post:
For a team that could use a veteran presence with playoff experience, does signing Jeremy Lin make sense for the Mavericks?
- Consistent Scorer
In 9 seasons, Lin has averaged less than 10 points per game only twice. The first being his rookie season with the Warriors and his second being last season. In fact, had he not been traded to Toronto he would’ve easily averaged over 10 points per game with the Hawks.
Lin scores in a variety of ways. He can shoot the three, drive to the hoop, pull up from mid range, and more important convert his free throws at a high click. For a guard, Lin scores a high percentage of his shots from close range helping raise his overall shooting efficiency.
Lin’s career shooting line is 43/34/81
- Smart Passer
As a ball handling point guard dating back to his time in high school, Lin has had to develop good court vision in order to help his teammates score. (He did not play with good teams early in his career) Lin has averaged over 3 assists per game with the exception of his rookie year and has a career assist rate of 26.7%. (For comparison, Luka Doncic had an assist rate of 31%)
The more we discuss Lin’s game the more he sounds like a score first point with complementary court vision, but Rick Carlisle’s ball movement offense would ask more of him as a passer than a scorer. This won’t be an issue in the event Lin signs with the Mavericks.
- Strong Character
The Trae Young tweet from above was one of many examples showcasing players’ love for Lin. He’s revered for his unselfishness and personality. Even on his YouTube channel, he’ll record some of his charitable acts with the intention of spreading positivity. A strong character is generally good for a young group of players looking to make the playoffs for the first time.
- Extra Marketing
This point may seem random, but hear me out. Linsanity was not only popular because of Lin’s insane production in a 10 game stretch, but because he had an extra check mark in the diversity column. As the first American player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, Lin became an even bigger sensation.
People don’t care so much about Lin’s race anymore and rightfully so, however, Dallas has one of the biggest population of Asian residents in the entire USA. If we put two and two together, surely the American Airlines Center will draw more Asian Americans to basketball games? I guess the only flaw is those who weren’t interested in Lin from the beginning will definitely not care about him now, but what are the odds of that happening?
- Experienced depth
This should not get overlooked. Currently, the PG depth chart is as follows: Delon Wright, Jalen Brunson, JJ Barea, and Daryl Macon. Barea is coming off an Achilles injury and Macon has played 8 games in the NBA. Brunson just finished his rookie season and Wright finished his 4th. Without Barea this group is extremely young, Lin could provide valuable advice and depth as these players look to blossom in their roles.
- Three point shot
Lin’s three-point shot has not been a forte of his skill set. Can he score from three? Yes, is he consistent enough? No. In Lin’s best 3 point shooting season, he only shot 37%. Need I remind you, he only played 37 games that season.
Lin for his career has hovered around the 34% mark. The Mavs were 6th in Three Pointers Made and 4th in Three Point Attempts last season. This doesn’t sound like a happy marriage.
Here’s the thing…
The only players on the current Dallas roster that shot over 34.0% from three last season were according to ESPN:
- Justin Jackson
- Daryl Macon (Played 8 games, averaged 1.4 3PA)
- Maxi Kleber
- Ryan Broekhoff
- Jalen Brunson
Kristaps Porzingis didn’t play last season hence he’s not on this list.
So yeah… For a team that shoots a lot of three point shots, they don’t have many efficient shooters from that distance. Even with Lin averaging 34% for his career, he fares better than other players on this team. In fact, in Lin’s best 3 point shooting seasons, they were the seasons he averaged the most 3 point attempts per game.
Although at this point of his career, Lin probably isn’t starting and as a result won’t shoot at a high volume, but his scoring could be useful for a team that was in the bottom third in points per game.
- Injury Concerns
Lin has had his fair share of injuries and they a fair amount are document nicely in this Nets Republic article. On top of those in this article, Lin has suffered a ruptured patella tendon and several back injuries. It’s hard to be productive when you aren’t on the court. For a team that could use any production, Lin might be a liability at the end.
- Positional Versatility
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With Luka Doncic being the focal point of the offense, the Mavs need a point guard with off ball capabilities. Lin can play off ball, but this limits his effectiveness. His 3 point shot percentage gets worse when he plays catch and shoot and a majority of his 2 point shots are unassisted buckets. (Lin’s driving ability is what makes him such a lethal scorer so this makes sense)
That said, this was apparent with Kemba Walker and the Mavericks were looking to pursue him with a max contract. Perhaps all is not lost in a ball dominant point guard?
Of the many reasons to sign Jeremy Lin, no one makes more sense than the money. Dallas currently has about $14 million in cap space and Lin’s previous contract was for $12 million/year. Lin is clearly not worth that much on the market, so it would be relatively easy to sign Lin for less than $6 million/year.
With Lin, the Mavericks will get a hard worker, great teammate, an offensive boost off the bench at a position they could use some help. Most importantly, the Mavs will be getting an NBA champion.
- Published on 08/01/2019 at 11:00 AM
- Last updated at 08/01/2019 at 06:35 AM